Project Description

Laughter Yoga connected me to Whole Body Peace

Karen Michelle Bayard Laughter Yoga connected me to Whole Body Peace I’ve always loved to laugh and found it everywhere. When my brother died of AIDS I felt emotionally derailed. My heart was heavy. I had so many questions, the greatest was, “Why didn’t he tell me he was sick?” His death came as an awful surprise to our small family. I flew home and I am thankful I had 63 days with him to love him up, talk, laugh and say everything we wanted to say. After his funeral I went on a road trip, including a 10 day Vipassana. This was soothing to my soul. I thought I had made peace with it all.

A few months later, while cooking, a wave of grief gripped me. I dropped to my knees and fell apart on the kitchen floor. In the midst of my uncontrollable tears and guttural cries I found myself feeling at peace. “Weird.” That’s what I thought. Then a smile came over my face and I suddenly laughed out loud. How was I so very sad …and….OK….at the SAME TIME? “Weird!” It was a wonderful & strange feeling.

Soon after that I saw something about Laughter Yoga and decided to look into it. I went to the website & thought, “Oh yeah!” We didn’t have any clubs in Utah at the time so I decided to make my way to Chicago for a training. I just had a feeling I was supposed to attend. So I started telling my friends I was going. Within 3 weeks I was gifted plane tickets, a place to stay and a car to use while I was in Chicago! During the training I had another experience of feeling “opposite” emotions at once. I also had a profound experience with how laughter could help heal the anger that accompanied the grief I felt around my brother’s death. I was a comedienne but I liked how laughter yoga was different. So I decided to add laughter yoga to the career I was creating in whole body laughter. The idea of wellness and education through laughter, food and movement…in playful ways.

Since the Chicago training in 2009 I’ve been certified as a Laughter Yoga Teacher!! I now teach a 15 week/ 2 credit Laughter Yoga course at Salt Lake Community College. I lead community and corporate classes. I still write and perform one woman comedy shows….and…. I will be introducing LY to high school kids for a semester this fall!! I am also excited to be a new graduate student at Goddard College developing my own studies in PLAY as a foundation for wellness and education. I look forward to developing more programs at the college and high school level nationwide. I LOVE LAUGHTER YOGA and how it has enhanced my life! I am thankful to be able to share what I have and am learning about laughter and joy!

Karen Michelle Bayard CHHC, CLYT

(801) 898-3838